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ATI denies 80nm problems

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When Windows Vista hits the shops at the turn of the New Year it will include DirectX 10 which supports Shader Model with unified Shaders, as opposed to dedicated Pixel, Vertex and Geometry Shaders. This is a significant change for ATI and Nvidia and it means that the next chips will be taking a much greater step than a relatively simple speed bump from Radeon X1900 and GeForce 7900GTX.

We expect to see both ATI’s R600 and Nvidia’s G80 around October and rumours suggest that both chips will contain a monumental number of transistors. At the high-end you can expect 256-bit memory controllers, 512MB of GDDR4 memory and cores than run at 700MHz or 800MHz. This is going to put even more emphasis than usual on the manufacturing process as the chip designers will be desperate to reduce power consumption and heat output while also keeping costs low so the time has come to move from 90nm to 80nm.

Nvidia appears to be fully on course for the 80nm change, however rumours have been circulating that ATI has run into problems with the new process, which would be very bad news indeed. In an unusual move there has been a report from Taiwan in which ATi denies any such problem

It is highly unusual for any Tech company to comment on products that are still in development unless they desperately need good publicity (Intel Conroe, Sony PS3 and Microsoft Windows Vista spring to mind) so we can only speculate that ATI feels aggrieved about the terrible lies that have been told. Alternatively it knows it has huge problems looming and it can’t possibly miss the Windows Vista launch date. ®

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